History of Swear Words | ONE EPISODE IN


  • Connor Petrey
  • crpWritescom
  • crpwritescom
  • crpWrites


 Published: 01.04.21

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Erica Richards

TV Review

Meet The Popcorn Rating System

      RELEASE: 01.05.21


Genre:  Documentary. Comedy.

Meet The Popcorn Rating System



I love cussing. It makes me feel powerful and in control; it is both cathartic and colorful. The words allow me to fully express whatever emotion I am conveying whether it is positive or negative. It takes a lot for me to feel offended by language, and I have always stood by the idea that cussing is normal and acceptable, not taboo. I have even argued that cussing creates camaraderie--I believe it builds a stronger foundation for comfortability and trust in friendships and other relationships. I have always been fascinated with etymology--which is the study of the history of a word, its meaning, development and use and how it has changed and evolved throughout history. Curse words and learning?! History of Swear Words was MADE for me! 


The 6-episode series on Netflix is hosted by none other than the famous Nicolas Cage, and he is the perfect man for the task. The other talking heads that provide information for the episodes feature some of your favorite comedians and actors like Sarah Silverman, Nick Offerman, Nikki Glazer, and London Hughes, as well as experts on the subject--including anyone from professors and authors to linguists and a film critic. If you have ever wondered who or how someone decided a word was “bad” or “offensive” the answer is discovered here. Am I the only person who did not really think “dick” is a “swear word”...?


Each episode focuses on a different word, starting with how the word originated then exploring the usage and cultural impact of that word. I love discovering how language works, how context and the other words used in a phrase with a cuss word can change its meaning. For example--if one says, “that bitch” it is understood as a strong, positive use of the word; opposed to “a bitch” is understood as a negative and derogatory phrase. There is even an experiment we get to witness, where these individuals put their hand in a bucket of freezing ice water to see how long they can withstand the pain--one group being allowed to cuss, the others are not. Can screaming curse words actually help you physically endure pain? 


If you love to learn and enjoy history, plus you find language interesting--and of course, you are not offended by “bad” words--I highly recommend you watch this show! It is a fun, easy watch and at around a 20ish minute episode, it won't take long for you to binge. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the cuss-fest.

                                                 (W/ LIGHT SPOILERS)



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